Where Beal could rank all-time at the end of his contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Bradley Beal's new 5-year contract extension with the Wizards has him set to play in D.C. through his Age 33 season and will take him to 15 total years with the franchise by the time it's over. That's a long time with one team and he's already on the cusp of breaking the Wizards/Bullets' all-time scoring record. At his current pace, he's likely to pass Elvin Hayes to set a new mark sometime in the second half of this upcoming season.
Beal, though, could distinguish himself beyond the history of the Wizards' franchise. Through 10 years, he is off to a strong start statistically within the context of NBA history as well.
Here are some milestones to keep in mind as he begins his 5-year deal...
All-time scoring list
Beal's best trait is his scoring, but even though he's already played 10 years and has two seasons averaging 30+ points under his belt, he ranks 173rd on the all-time NBA scoring list. He has a chance, however, to rank much, much higher by the time his new 5-year contract is done.
Taking his average points scored per season (1423.1), so accounting for volume based on games played, Beal is on pace to move into the top 50 all-time by the end of his new contract. By then, he would still only be 33 with the potential to keep going on another deal.
Beal is on track to pass some all-time greats on the scoring list within the next five years. He's likely to eclipse John Stockton, Scottie Pippen, Isiah Thomas, Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash and Chris Webber. And he has a chance to move past Larry Bird, who is currently 7,560 points ahead of Beal. If Beal played every game in the next five seasons, he would need to average about 18.4 points to pass Bird. Beal's career scoring average is 22.1 points per game, which ranks 34th in NBA history and 12th among active players.
Highest career ppg average among active NBA players (where they rank all-time):
Kevin Durant, 27.18 (4)
LeBron James, 27.13 (5)
James Harden, 24.92 (13)
Damian Lillard, 24.63 (15)
Stephen Curry, 24.29 (18)
Anthony Davis, 23.82 (21)
Devin Booker, 23.52 (23)
Karl-Anthony Towns, 23.17 (24)
Kyrie Irving, 23.06 (27)
Russell Westbrook, 22.82 (28)
Carmelo Anthony, 22.45 (31)
Bradley Beal, 22.06 (34)
All-time 3-pointers list
Beal is already top-50 in career 3-pointers made and attempted. He's 48th in threes made (1434) and 50th in attempts (3851). Projecting how high he could rise in the next five years is difficult because his 3-point percentage has dropped significantly since the early days of his career. Last season, Beal set a career-low by shooting 30.0% from three when he was a 39.3% 3-point shooter through his first six seasons.
Including both his early years as a high-percentage 3-point shooter and his more recent seasons, Beal has averaged 143.4 threes made. That same pace would put him on track for 2151 career threes by end of this contract. That total would rank top-10 all-time based on the current list, though there are quite a few active players ahead of him that are likely to keep rising. Assuming players like Damian Lillard, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson continue to add to their totals in the coming years, Beal would likely be somewhere in the top 20 to 25 five years from now.
Is the Hall of Fame possible?
Despite his statistical pace, Beal has considerable work to do in order to increase his chances of being enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. According to Basketball Reference's Hall of Fame probability index, Beal has a 2.3% chance of making the Hall if he retired today. He's 36th among active players on that list which is led by LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, who are each at 100%. Beal is just ahead of Andre Drummond and Khris Middleton.
Based on the equation Basketball Reference uses, Beal could improve his standing by winning a championship, making more All-Star teams and by placing in the top 10 in eligible statistical categories each season. Those categories are points, rebounds, assists, minutes played, steals and blocks.
Now, Basketball Reference's Hall of Fame index can't be taken as gospel. It's purely about accomplishments as an NBA player. Among what it doesn't take into account is international success, which Beal could achieve via the Olympics. He nearly won a gold medal in the 2020 Games, but had to leave the team during the exhibition schedule due to a positive COVID test. Beal also has some accolades from his lone year at the University of Florida which would count.